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RobW

Thai/Siamese Victory Medals

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A medal for sale on Eb_y.

121038792722

OMG!!

Lambert

Hello Lambert,

While the item in question is quite well worn it is a nice official strike. The Siam vic is becoming much harder to obtain at a reasonable price.

Regards,

Rob

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Hello Rob!


Welcome back!

It's true. I think when you have another opportunity to see another?
I think that might be a "reasonable" price .. but when I see the conversion to the Real (Brazilian currency) twice this price. There is a Vic Brazil, here, selling for this amount. (R$ 3,000)

Best Regards

Lambert

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Hello Lambert,

There is an official Siam vic currently up for auction ebay (auction no: 121038792722). While it is a bit more worn than usually seen it is an official strike nonetheless.

Regards,
Rob

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To all there is, as Rob posted an official vic currently up for auction on ebay. Condition always works hand in hand with price. With that said and the fact that there is no mad rush to do a "buy now" at the $1500 price tag. I would say if you are interested you can do a ebay contract to the seller and make a offer you can live with. As Rob has pointed out these medaL IN ANY CONDITION DO NOT COME UP TO OFTEN. It might be a good investment for a young vic collector, as time is on your side.

Regards Jim

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Hello Jim, Rob.

I saw the medal on ebay, I think too much about it ..

maybe if did not think much .... :)

Regards

lambert

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Hello Dave,

I would agree that it is a copy and of contemporary to the 1930's period. The French manufacture accounts for the 'BRONZE' mark and the compliance with the US 1931 Tariff Law explains the country of origin 'MADE IN FRANCE' marking. Of course it will prove a bit harder to lock down the exact French manufacturer.

Regards,
Rob

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Hi Rob,

For such a rare and heavily faked medal, probably the prudent assumption would be that it is a fake until proven otherwise...

I suppose that having marks is presumed to authenticate it - but that is not valid - it is a common method to try to add legitimacy to Thai fakes, and I suppose others. We already know of the modern fakes by Mike Shank in Virginia, USA with the use of the BRONZE and other makers marks. In Thailand, it is normal with supposed French-made but actually Thai made fake medals, to add BRONZE and French maker naming. It's not very difficult to have such counter-strike dies made, and anyone capable of making a fake medal should be capable of stamping them with whatever marks they want.

In any case, I don't suppose there was ever a need to have this medal officially imported into the US, so what would be the reason to follow US regulations ? Also, typically on other French medals which have been exported elsewhere where this has been required, including Thailand, I see the source marks in French not English. So it sort of seems that strikes are incorrect already ? Do we have other examples where this was done ?

It is clear from the casting it is a copy. So the question is can it be proven that it is an early copy ? Do we have known examples of this cast type that have been around, on the market or in people's collections along with verifiable providence that it is earlier ? Do we have any known example of this type appearing in any form in any location more than 20 years ago (pre-Laslo) ? There are a lot of old collectors around with these medals - we ought to be able to find some kind of early evidence. Perhaps some other members might have such an example with some believable history when and where they got it ?

During the auction, I asked for further information on this medal, but the seller declined to provide any... Likewise, even though it was clearly a copy, and he was so informed that it was likely a modern fake, he neither made any mention of it being any type of copy and he continued to use a vague remark about its legitimacy. That is sort of an additional red flag about it also.

Rgds,

Dave

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Team,

RE: Thai / Siam Interallied Victory Medal Study - Copies, Reproductions, and Fakes

For about 6 years now I've been meaning to put together more information on Thai WW1 Interallied Victory Medal copies, and I've been closely following all sales I can find since then. I've several examples of this medal, both genuine and copy/fake, and about 150 photos of other examples (however, mostly low resolution as many come from the internet).

Under close examination, normally it is not so difficult to distinguish between a genuine example and a copy when compared side by side. I've posted good quality pictures of genuine example and also some common copies on the medal forums, which should be sufficient to make this determination in most cases.

Some time back I started, but didn't yet finish, a pictorial book of high resolution photos of different examples (see attached draft cover). I planned to make it a small private book via lulu.com (where I did my other draft Indochina medal books - in parallel to my web site www.indochinamedals.com). However, I wanted to get more example photos - especially different copies, and more information about when people have been finding these copies.

Therefore, this is a request for anyone who has an example of a Thai WW1 Interallied Victory Medal - genuine and also copies (other than the two museum copies), to send me a high resolution photo / scan in good sharpness. In exchange, I will send you a printed copy of the book which will include the other example hi-resolution pictures.

Likewise, I'd been keen to know if anyone has more specific information of purchase of various copies - especially purchase dates. i.e. How early back has Shank been selling his copies ? How early back did Blass start selling his copies - (Laslo Repro #2). Does anyone know the source of other copies ? How many have these copiers made ? Or any other information about other copies.


Likewise, if anyone has any other references for this medal, in other published sources, this would be useful - including other books which might have a small section on it. Perhaps also any old manufacturer catalogs, if there are really any other manufacturers other than the first run (i.e. the Delande remake - which is not actually documented anywhere that is public so far, or any potential others) ?

For anyone interested, send me a PM or email.

Rgds,

Dave

____________________________

Background:

There is a known genuine issue of this medal estimated about 1500 pieces. There are two reported “contemporary reproductions” of undocumented age (however one of these is reportedly manufactured by Ernst Blass). There are many known different copies of unknown age. There are at least four known current active production copies, two of which are regularly confused with the genuine type.

The known in-depth published information about this medal is in only one publication (Alexander Laslo – The Interallied Victory Medals of WW1). There are no known other published detailed articles, however there are probably many briefer descriptions available in other books.

Because of the few number of genuine pieces, and high foreign interest coupled with low local interest, most of them are probably now outside their original country Thailand. Even so, Thai dealers/collectors are secretive with knowledge about medals and foreign made copies of this medal are both manufactured locally and imported to sell locally to unsuspecting foreigners. There are at least one or two known copy examples currently made in Thailand.

Even without this specific knowledge, there is a large cottage medal making and medal copying industry in Thailand (mainly Buddhist amulets and Rama V medals), and it would not be difficult for a dedicated and/or resourceful person to make these medals. Some of the Thai copies of other medals are so well made that major dealers and auction houses cannot distinguish they are copies. In the field of coins, very high quality organized copying of valuable machine-struck coins that are difficult to detect for even experts has been rampant for decades - although this has occurred in several places around the world, in modern times in China this is government supported, well funded, and an organized effort. (Here is a little on medal counterfeiting here: http://www.omsa.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=646 )

Current prices for known copies advertised as copies are around $30-50. Current prices for genuine pieces are between $1500 and $3000 depending on various factors. Laslo Reproductions 1 & 2 can regularly be found at $200-500 depending on various factors. Dubious pieces can routinely achieve now up to $600 (previously sometimes up to $800 and more). Dishonest sellers will often claim ignorance or portray obscure potential sources, probably to realize a higher price. Although most sellers are honest, some sellers often know the medals are copies when they sell them, some sellers don't care about authenticity, and some sellers just don't know.

Current copies are often poor enough that an experienced collector can detect them with a sufficient amount of examination, however some copies are good enough that experienced collectors have difficulty to detect them without detailed comparison with a genuine specimen.

My feeling is that the technology is simply available (or will be soon enough) to manufacture very excellent copies for a dedicated person that would be difficult to detect for any but an expert. Further, that there will be perhaps no experts available with the skill to detect these copies. Also, those that should be experts (major dealers & auction houses) do not always have the interest to make very difficult or thorough investigation on this.

I also believe that at this time, there possibly exists a pool of knowledgeable collectors who have scattered specimens, scattered information, and scattered personal history available - which can be collected together to obtain a more complete picture. Much of this information however may ultimately be lost as the personal files get destroyed and as these specimens get transferred to the next generation where they will be spread amongst a larger and looser collecting community which will not be able to compare them together as might have been previously possible.

Edited by ThaiDave

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The Laslo Repro type 1 (hidden ear type)

Q: Does anyone know when or where this was made ?

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The Laslo Repro type 2.

This was made by Earnst Blass.

Q: Does anyone know where and when Blass made these ?

(From Paul, we have: The late lamented master forger Ernst Blass had a number of workshops in the Kathmandu area which produced his masterpieces around the 1970s-80's.)

I find a lot of color variation in these.

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The Mike Shank copy (Virginia, USA).

You find these on ebay in a steady stream, along with all the other copy victory medals, etc he tries to sell as original (although now he simply says he doesn't know anything about them, and that he got them all at the SOS show).

They are marked "BRONZE" on the edge.

Also, a lot of color variation with these.

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Another common reproduction, available on ebay. It is advertised by the seller as a reproduction, but sometimes then ends up with others advertised as genuine.

As the price is only about 2% the price of an original, it is not not a bad space filler for those so inclined.

There is some variation in the aging in different examples.

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A cast replica out of the UK. It can be ordered "as new" or "aged".

Note the suspension ring is cast into the medal (so it is fixed and does not swivel).

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Related is the Thai WW1 Victory Medal

There are two dies.

(my example is not very nice, and the ribbon fell off)

Edited by ThaiDave

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Hi Rob,

In any case, I don't suppose there was ever a need to have this medal officially imported into the US, so what would be the reason to follow US regulations ?

Also, typically on other French medals which have been exported elsewhere where this has been required, including Thailand, I see the source marks in French not English. So it sort of seems that strikes are incorrect already ? Do we have other examples where this was done ?

Hello Dave,

The only reason I can think that they would be imported into the US was for the existing collectors market.

Yes; I have seen other victory medals with both the BRONZE marks as well as stamped MADE IN FRANCE. I have the following;

* Belgian vic with MADE IN FRANCE & BRONZE on the edge.

* Cuban vic with MADE IN FRANCE & BRONZE on the edge.

* 2 Japan vics with MADE IN FRANCE on the edge.

* 2 Portugal vics with MADE IN FRANCE on the edge.

* 2 US vics with MADE IN FRANCE on the edge.

* 2 US vics with MADE IN ITALY on the edge.

I also have pictures of the following;

* Czechoslovak vic with MADE IN FRANCE on edge.

* Czechoslovak vic with MADE IN FRANCE on the suspension ring.

In all these examples the style of stamp used is consistent with that seen on the Siam example.

While slightly off-topic I have also seen this MADE IN FRANCE and BRONZE markings on a French produced British 1914 Star as well. That example is in the hands of a US collector.

Regards,

Rob

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Rob,

Interesting. Are they similar type as this one (castings like this) ? What kind of associated background do those medals have ? (I mean we expect such stamps from other fakes, like the Mike Shank fakes, and well a lot of the stuff produced in Thailand in modern times.)

Perhaps someone from the French community would have more info on this aspect - French companies stamping as such ?

Rgds,
Dave

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Rob,

Interesting. Are they similar type as this one (castings like this) ? What kind of associated background do those medals have ? (I mean we expect such stamps from other fakes, like the Mike Shank fakes, and well a lot of the stuff produced in Thailand in modern times.)

Perhaps someone from the French community would have more info on this aspect - French companies stamping as such ?

Rgds,

Dave

Hello Dave,

At the moment my collection is in long-term storage so it is not at hand. My collection records indicate some were cast and others die-struck.

It would be interesting to see what the French collectors think.

Regards,

Rob

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If you'd like to supply me with an email, I can send you a set of hi-res photos of a Siamese Victory Medal sold by Morton & Eden out of the American Numesmatic Society's collection. regards, gfh

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